Bernie Sanders attacks Trump, celebrates diversity at Brooklyn College commencement

He’s a grad now: Sen. Bernie Sanders gave the commencement address for Brooklyn College at Barclays Center on May 30.
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He’s Bernin’ up!

Brooklyn-born Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders denounced racism, sexism, and xenophobia during his address to graduates of Brooklyn College at the Barclays Center on May 30, and used the podium to unleash a thinly veiled attack on President Trump.

“If we are prepared to stand together, if we take on greed and selfishness, if we refuse to allow demagogues to divide us up, there is no end to what the great people of our nation can accomplish,” said the James Madison High School alum, who didn’t utter the Trump’s name. “You know, and I know, that these are tough times in our country, But looking out at the beautiful people in front of me, I have enormous confidence in the future of our country.”

The Flatbush-native and former presidential hopeful, who attended Brooklyn College in 1959 but ended up graduating from the University of Chicago in 1964, made the comments before a profoundly diverse class of more than 4,100 — many of whom are immigrants or the children of immigrants from more than 143 countries, and who speak nearly 100 different languages — during a time when the school itself has been rocked by anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic rhetoric caught in the middle of the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its fight to ultimately become a “sanctuary campus” for undocumented students, and controversy surrounding the City University of New York’s decision to invite Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour to speak at its upcoming commencement.

The self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist implored the graduating Bulldogs to stand up to hateful rhetoric, as someone whose own childhood was shaped by his family fleeing anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, he said.

“From that experience, what was indelibly stamped on me was the understanding that we must never allow demagogues to divide us up by race, by religion, by national origin, by gender or sexual orientation,” said Sanders during his speech. “Black, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, Christian, Jew, Muslim, and every religion, straight or gay, male or female, we must stand together. This country belongs to all of us.”

Sanders also addressed the country’s shrinking middle class and the deepening pockets of the one percent — a favorite theme of his from the campaign trail, along which he also returned to his roots to stump outside his childhood home last April.

And Sanders offered the graduates one last message before they moved their tassels to the other side and threw their caps in the air — do not sit idly by, but to stand up and fight for what they believe in.

“So today, as you graduate Brooklyn College, my message to you is very simple. Think big, not small, and help us create the nation that we all know we can become,” he said to loud cheers.

A handful of other politicians also addressed the crowd, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, Public Advocate Leticia James, Borough President Adams, and Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Midwood), who is also a Brooklyn College alum.

The school awarded Sanders with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:58 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Lookee! from Not Vermont says:
Vermont demographics per Wikipedia:
94.3% of the population identified as white not of Hispanic or Latino origin in a 2013 US Census estimate. As of the 2010 census, Vermont was the second-whitest state in the Union after Maine.
May 31, 2017, 11:03 am
Mustafa Khant from Atlantic ave says:
Bernie has his delegates stolen by Hillary! and he has a nice new house to prove it.
May 31, 2017, 2:29 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
4 years of force fed socialist propaganda, capped off by a speech by "our communist friend". Hopefully some of the graduates can see through the lies.
May 31, 2017, 2:51 pm
Matt from Brooklyn says:
Lookee! how dumb I am:

Because someone from a state that white could never look out for the interests of ethnic minorities the way Goldman Sachs' candidate could.
May 31, 2017, 4:24 pm
Joe from Greenpoint says:
Thank the DNC, Hillary and Wasserman-Schultz for President Trump!
May 31, 2017, 4:28 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
I wonder if Schumer gave the same speech he was giving at commencements in 2015. That year, Schumer spoke at 3 different commencements for people in my family (two college, one high school). Each speech was identical, except for the places where he inserted the name of the school.
May 31, 2017, 5:04 pm
Lookee! from Not Vermont says:
How dumb you are Matt from Brooklyn -- Ever notice how all these liberal hypocrites never live near the minorities they use? Clintons in Chappaqua another example.
May 31, 2017, 5:33 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Sean F -- IDENTICAL. I have seen him give that same speech for 10 years. It's adorable he brings paper notes with him as if he's reading a freshly prepared speech.
May 31, 2017, 6:37 pm
Barry from Flatbush says:
Brooklyn College walks the walk of the American Dream.
May 31, 2017, 10:56 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Anyone that thinks the good old USA would ever elect a communist needs to turn off their device and go interact with real Americans. You can't even elect a Democrat as a dog catcher anywhere outside of your little bubbles, and even your moderates are unacceptable outside your Tammany Hall fiefdoms. Keep doing what you do, and we will continue running every branch of government.
May 31, 2017, 11:28 pm
samir kabir from downtown says:
What is "Lookee! from Not Vermont" is trying to say. I count my blessings.
June 1, 2017, 4:59 am
Morris from Mill Basin says:
Anyone who doesn't like Brooklyn College needs to be killed.
June 1, 2017, 7:38 pm
Klein from Williamsburg says:
Doofus stick in the mud barely capable of passing a piece of legislation
June 1, 2017, 11:43 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Old white commy farting out of his mouth
June 2, 2017, 9:47 am
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Lookee! here now:

I said nothing in defense of Sanders and nothing of Clinton. I only pointed out your complete lack of reasoning capabilities, as you continue to confirm.
June 2, 2017, 2:20 pm
Lookee! from Not Vermont says:
Matt, please see the comment from June above. Apparently my comment was too subtle for you -- and I said nothing in favor of any particular candidate.
June 4, 2017, 12:27 pm

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